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Life for low income families in York could get even harder

City of York Council

6:57am 28th August 2012

Life could get even harder for struggling families in York.

1.3 million pounds is going to be cut from council tax benefits during the next financial year.

Pensioners are protected, so it means 6500 low income families could have to take the hit.

We have a chance to have our say on where the money is cut from.

City of York Council Statement:
City of York Council is urging residents to have their say on proposed national changes to Council Tax Benefits, so their views can be considered in developing a local scheme.
From April 2013 the Government is planning to abolish the Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme and has asked councils across the country to develop their own schemes of Council Tax Support (CTS) to replace it.
The biggest change to residents is that the government will no longer fund all claims in full and they will instead provide local authorities with a fixed sum of money to support residents, regardless of the scheme they have designed. However, protection will be given to pensioners who are already customers and any new qualifying pensioners applying for support, with the government keeping in place the current national rules.
In York, the overall amount of government CTS funding will be approximately £1.3 million less in 2013/14.  With protection for pensioners, this means a cut to benefits for working age claimants of approximately 30 per cent.
The grant provided by government will not rise on an annual basis meaning that further cuts in Council Tax Support are expected to be required in coming years.      
The council wishes to consult with all stakeholders especially customers of Council Tax Benefit over a statutory twelve-week period from Monday 13 August to Sunday 4 November.  
Cllr Julie Gunnell, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said:

"Despite reductions in government funding, we are committed to providing support to our most vulnerable residents, whilst keeping any changes fair across the board.
"We want to make sure all our residents have the opportunity to have their say on changes to services and I urge everyone to view and complete the questionnaire at www.york.gov.uk/consultation so that their views on this subject can be heard."
Included on the council's consultation website will be details of consultation meetings along with an online survey, calculators that will allow customers to see how their Council Tax Support may change from April 2013 and further supporting information including frequently asked questions.
Residents can attend a number of meetings to gain further information and express their views:
28 August - Mansion House 15:00 - 16:00
29 August - Guildhall 18:00 - 19:00
30 August - Mansion House 14:00 - 15:00
8 October - Mansion House 14:00 - 15:00
9 October - Mansion House 14:30 - 15:30
10 October - Guildhall 18:15 - 19:15
Meetings within the community will also shortly be publicised on the website as well as at public receptions and through partners.   

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